Dr. Sara Spike is a historian of rural communities and coastal environments in Atlantic Canada.
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Meaningful, complex cultural narratives about rural life can help to shift our social and political imaginary of rural places. All of my work seeks to reimagine the possibilities of rural life: I tell new kinds of stories about the past to fuel vibrant rural futures.
I am currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the University of New Brunswick. My research project is titled “Cultural Histories of Fog in Atlantic Canada.”
I am also leading the Eastern Shore Islands Heritage Research Project, a government-funded, community-led study of the Eastern Shore Islands archipelago and adjacent coastline in rural Nova Scotia. I grew up on the Eastern Shore and am delighted to bring my professional expertise home.
I received my PhD from the Department of History at Carleton University in the fall of 2016. My academic research uses a range of unconventional perspectives to explore the historical worlds of rural Canadians, illuminating and recuperating overlooked aspects of rural culture and knowledge. My award-winning doctoral dissertation, which I am currently revising for publication, is a cultural history of vision and modernity in rural Nova Scotia, 1880–1910.
I have published peer-reviewed articles and public scholarship spanning fields including Canadian history, visual culture studies, rural history, sensory history, disability studies, environmental history, coastal history, the history of education, the history of science, and more.